Buddha's head a constant source of inspiration

By JOHN GREENWALD , Lowell Sun, Oct 27, 2006

Lowell, MA (USA) -- All her life, Virginia Peck, 55, has made art -- painting, sculpture, prints and for, 10 years, commercial illustration for Reebok, The Boston Globe, Doubleday books and others.

In her early 40s, Peck took personal growth seminars and began exploring yoga, meditation, Eastern philosophy and spirituality. During meditation one day, "a light went off in my head and I realized I could combine my love of painting the human head with painting the Buddha's head," she says.

Peck graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She moved to Lowell from Newton last year "because I heard Lowell was an art-friendly town, and I've been very happy here." She has exhibited at the Concord and Cambridge art associations, the New Art Center in Newton and will be in a two-person show at the Alpers Fine Art gallery in Andover, from Oct. 24 through Dec. 3. The artists' reception takes place tomorrow from 6 to 9 p.m.

Official website: http://virginiapeck.com/

Have you always painted heads?

Yes, even as a child. Any kind of head, I like to do it. Realistic, abstract, expressionistic, masks, even on weathered tree bark. I find the human head endlessly fascinating. Combining that fascination with the Buddha's image was a natural progression. I've been painting the Buddhas for three years, and I'm still excited by it and feel there's more I can learn.

What did you want to accomplish with "Chants of Love"?

I've done more than two dozen Buddhas and all are about our modern frenetic lives and the possibility of a peace and serenity that the Buddha offers through meditation.

How do you achieve all those colors, layers and textures?

First, I begin with a spontaneously painted abstract. It's full of color, dripped paint, marks, lines and shapes. Next, I draw the Buddha's face in charcoal over the abstract. Once I feel the face is the way I want it, I rub out most of the drawing, leaving only a faint indication of the features.

Now I'm ready to paint. I mix marble dust in my oil paints to give them a thicker, rougher texture. I layer the painting with complementary colors determined by the abstract underpainting. Where the abstract was blue, I layer in orange, where it was red, I layer in green. I build up layer after layer, color after color.

Then, I gradually define the features to make them discernible. Next, I take thinned-out oil paint and drip it over the entire canvas. That pulls together all the disparate colors and shapes.

Finally, I touch up the highlight areas with fresh paint.

These paintings look almost abstract close up but are more realistic from a distance. Do you want that effect?

Yes. I find that I enjoy a painting that feeds you visually no matter what distance you are from it. I like how my work changes as you move closer or farther away.

What's next?

More Buddhas!

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv